On my commute this morning (Thursday 7 July 2016), I spontaneously decided to listen to the album “Declaration” by Welsh rock band The Alarm. Toward the end of the song “Blaze of Glory,” when lines from earlier in the ballad are being repeated, some of those lines stood out in my attention.
Fight back with love! No price is too high!
Yeah, written and performed by straight white guys, albeit straight white guys from Wales in the 1980s. Historical and societal contexts shouldn’t be dismissed.
As I heard those lines, I was reflecting on the two black men killed by police in as many days. And, those are just the ones I know about. For all I know, there could be more.
Fighting back with love has been a personal philosophy of mine for a very long time, probably going back to the early ’80s when I first heard this song. This was due, in part, to the fact that back then I lacked the physical strength to fight back in any other way. As I grew older and my Christian faith deepened, fighting back with love seemed the proper way to live the Golden Rule and the second half of the Great Commandment. But with all this violent oppression happening around me, I can’t help but think that a more “Satanic” approach might indeed be appropriate.
What would that look like? Second Amendment rights seem to be respected differently depending on the person with the gun. It has been alleged that both Mr. Castile and Mr. Sterling had guns. So what? Dylan Roof used a gun to kill nine people and he was apprehended live, put in a bulletproof vest, and taken for fast food. After he killed nine people. Simply bearing arms, real or not, can get one killed when one is a person of color, particularly if that person is male. As much I as consider joining Pink Pistols, I’m not a white, seemingly cis-male queer. My chances of being shot even while legally carrying will be much greater than my white, seemingly cis-male or trans-and-passing-for-cis-male peers.
How can we fight back with more than love and live to tell the tale? No price is too high? If we die, how can we continue the fight?